When Queen Elizabeth went to the pub, it was the first time in her life she had visited one of Britain's most popular institutions and just one of many small steps taken in the past 12 months to try to move the monarchy on. There is little doubt she was taken by surprise by the strength of public feeling over the death of Diana and for a while it seemed she was in danger of being rejected by her subjects. While floral tributes were piling up 30 metres deep outside Kensington Palace, she remained at her country retreat in Balmoral, Scotland, and was seen by many as not fulfilling her role of providing a focus for national unity. Over the past year she has been trying to get back in touch with her subjects, but many believe the princess left a gap which will be difficult to fill. 'Diana provided the populist appeal which the royal family required. When she died it was obvious a very important part of the monarchy had gone,' Rodney Barker, a reader in government at the London School of Economics, said. 'Whenever you have a head of state you need one side of them which is remote and offers leadership but you need the other side to them which is someone who people believe really understands them and knows how they feel.' Mr Barker, who has studied the role of the monarchy in the British constitution, believes the queen is trying to find ways to come to terms with the change that is needed if the institution is to remain. 'Certainly in the month after Diana's death it seemed there was a question over what the monarchy was going to do and now I think they are having to work differently.' A team of the queen's closest courtiers has already begun to introduce a number of changes into the royal routine in an attempt to persuade the people of Britain they are getting a good deal from their monarch. The group quickly identified a need for the queen and other members of the royal family to reach out to every corner of the nation and to make sure some sectors were not being left out. An official visit to a pub during a royal walkabout this spring was one such attempt to keep the 72-year-old queen in touch with Britain's culture, although she did not stay long enough to buy a round of drinks but posed for photographs by the bar. More attempts are being made to keep in touch with the media, and the press have, for the first time, been provided with official photographs taken during the daily private audiences held with diplomats and government ministers. There are also attempts to make the royal family appear less ostentatious and the queen has not pressed for the Royal Yacht Britannia to be replaced since it was scrapped last year. The royal train, once kept idling most of the year, has now been made available for hire to businesses while a budget has been set for royal tours. But changes in the royal outlook had started some years ago when the queen decided she should pay tax in 1992. The number of royal family members who are paid by the government was also cut back so that now only the queen, Prince Philip, and the queen mother benefit from the civil list. But many constitutional experts believe greater change is in store for the monarchy when direct elections are held for a parliament in Scotland next year, and the whole question of the unity of the kingdom may come into question.